Origin : Dominican Republic
Format : Toro Gordo
Size : 6 x 54
Wrapper : African Cameroon
Filler : Dominican Republic
Binder : Dominican Republic
Price : ~$6 each
More info about purchasing Cusano 59 Rare Cameroon cigars...
Named in honor of co-founder Joe Chiusano's birth year, the 59' Rare Cameroon utilizes a special African Cameroon wrapper not only wrapped around the cigar but also stuffed into the the blend of filler tobaccos. Prominently displayed upon entrance to my local shop, I'd been eyeing this 54 ringed beauty for the longest time and for the price, I can't for the life of me figure out why up until today I hadn't tried one. Something about this stick just screamed mediocrity and a flashy band with no flavor to back it up, galvanized by the fact that one of my smoking buddies had one a few months back and spent the next 6 hours with his head in the toilet... Would I be pleasantly surprised or would my intuitions be unfortunately confirmed?
The story of the first third of this cigar is that of competing sweetness': abundant sweet spice with sweet cedar and a distinct sugar-sweetness on the finish, along with fruity notes and a hint of vanilla. As it progresses, the flavor gets meatier and more leathery. At the end of the second third the flavor profile becomes wine-like with a predominate cherry flavor and a finish reminiscent of a nice smooth petit syrah. The cherry flavor remains in the final third, with the spice kicking back in until about the 2 inch mark where bitterness rears its ugly head and the finish turns noticeably chemical.
The burn never stays straight for too long and is slightly wavy throughout. The burn never got out of hand and I didn't have to do any re-lights or touch ups but it was definitely something I had to keep my eye on. The ash was reasonably firm and held strong. I think throughout the course of this 6 inch cigar, 2 ashes fell and the 3rd was holding strong when the flavor got bitter and I finally set it down after about an hour and 15 minutes.
Though the draw remains perfect throughout, the cigar's construction is mushy and I believe the burn issues can be attributed to all of the soft spots that I noticed on the pre-light inspection.
Some of you may think I'm being too hard on manufacturers and shop-owners but the way I see it, if a cigar is worth exactly what it costs that's expected, that's 2.5 stars. You've got to leave room at the top of the scale for those exceptional deals, the Ambos Mundos, the Padron Maduros, the RP Edges... and if a cigar costs 20 bucks and is worth 8, then someone in the industry (be it manufacturers, retailer, what have you) is stealing from you and a sub-2.5 value score is warranted. This particular cigar is a VERY nice everyday kind of cigar. You can get them for a little under 6 bucks and I'd say they're worth 8 and change.
Overall Rating :
Decent burn, perfect draw, firm ash, good complex flavor profile. Nothing to be ashamed of, Cusano, you gave it the old college try and you got a B-. For 6 bucks and a 75 minute smoke time, I wouldn't hesitate to pick up a 5-pack in the future...I mean, hey, at least I didn't puke.